Beginners Chess

Beginners Chess Game Download for Windows

brain games chess game
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  • Classic gameplay
  • Multiple difficulty levels
  • Enjoy chess!

Enjoy the classic game of Chess on your computer! Play one of the most complex games of history in the comfort of your own home. Engage the computer in an epic battle, or take on your friends and family. Work on techniques and strategies and improve your Chess abilities in Brain Games: Chess.

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New to chess? Read our guide first...

Each game of chess is different in one way or another; therefore, making it hard to dictate any advanced guide to chess, however, there are plenty of different beginner's guides available to both beginners and novices of the game including the downloadable game above. In this guide, we will explore a beginner's guide to the highly tactical game.

Once you have learnt the setup structure, basic rules and how the pieces move here there are few other things that you need to know in terms of how the game is played, otherwise you will find yourself at a loss when your opponent pulls a few moves that make absolutely no sense to you.

What is Castling?

In any 'normal' game there is a move that can be carried out called castling. This move can only be carried out once per person per game and has several rules attached to the move.

  • The move consists of overlapping the king and either one of the rooks. If you are in control of the white pieces then you can move the king two spaces to the right or three spaces to the left and cross the king with the castle which sits in the space directly on the other side of the king.
  • This move can only be carried out if these pieces have not been moved at any other time during the game.
  • There can also be no pieces in-between the king and the rook.
  • The king cannot be checked at the time or move into a position where it is checked; however the rook can be 'under attack.'

For beginners, casting is a move that should be used whenever possible at it gives your king maximum protection against the possibility of checkmate. It also moves your rook (which is a valuable piece for attack) into a much better position.

The majority of the 'more advanced' strategies include castling, as it is a move that puts your king and rook in a more desirable position, therefore, if you ever watch any chess game there is a good chance that both players castle their kings on the kingside. Castling your king on the kingside is generally considered safer because it puts your king closer to the edge of the board which stops it being attacked from as many sides. You will rarely see a game where both kings castle on the queenside.

En Passant

En Passant is a 'special' capture moved carried out with the pawns. The En Passant move is the only move in the game whereby you can capture a piece without moving directly onto the same space as the existing piece.

The En Passant move dictates that you can capture your opponent's pawn with your own pawn if it makes its initial move two squares forward. If your pawn is then on the same horizontal line as your opponents you can move your pawn diagonally right or left to capture the piece, even though their pawn will no longer be in that space. This move allows you to capture the opposing pawn like it had just moved one space. The only other rule for this move is that this must be carried out directly after your opponent moves their pawn, otherwise the move becomes invalid.


If you have a pawn that moves from your side of the board to your opponents top level (the line that the king starts on) then you can exchange this pawn for a rook, bishop, knight or a queen. 96% of the time the queen is exchanged, as this is the best 'attacking' piece, however, on the odd occasion another piece may be selected, but as this only happens in 4% of the cases it is a rare sight. If you do decide to promote to a queen then this is called queening, if you decide to promote to any other rank then this is called an under promotion.

In the instance that you want to promote to a queen but do not have another queen available then you can use an upside down rook to show that you have two queens on board.

Even if you already have all of your original pieces then you can still take another one of that piece, for example, if you have two rooks already you can take a third rook.

The only rule involved in promotion is that every pawn that reaches the opponents 'last line' or eighth line has to be promoted it cannot remain a pawn.

The promotion is usually typical of an end game strategy, when you have wiped out the majority of your opponents defence but are having problems finishing them. There are plenty of different strategies that can be played to ensure your chances of promotion are better in the later stages.


When you are playing beginners chess or to any other level your 'ultimate goal' is to checkmate your opponent, however, when you are trying to force your opponent into checkmate, checking your opponent puts you in a desirable situation because your opponents next move has to be one that defends the king, therefore, pushing the king into a better position to be checkmated, or giving you a better option to capture an opponent's 'attacking' piece.

When defending a check you need to either:

  • Move your king from the piece/s that has it checked.
  • Capture the piece that has it in check.
  • Move a piece between the king and the piece that has it in check.

If your piece is double checked then you cannot capture the piece that has it in check or move a piece between the king and the piece that has it in check because it would still be under check by another piece, therefore, (unless your move can block out both pieces) you have to move your king into another position.

As you know you can move your king one position in every way, however, the only time you cannot move it into one of these positions is when you king plays into check. It is considered an illegal move to put your king in a position where it could be taken.

Ending the Game

Every game starts with the other person wanting to finish the game with a checkmate; however, this is not the only way a game can end.

If you find yourself hopelessly behind then you can resign the game at any time by deliberately tipping over your king or announcing 'resign.' If you are so far behind that there you both know there is no viable way back then 'manners' dictate that you should resign (it is an unwritten rule,) because you are basically wasting both yours and your opponents time.

The game can also end in a draw in any one of five ways:

Draw by Agreement: At any time in the game you can ask your opponent for a voluntary stalemate, if you both agree then the game ends a draw. Pleasantry dictates that you should ask for a draw after making your move and before you press the game clock. You can make the offer before making your move but your opponent has every right to ask you to make your move before deciding. If you decide to offer a draw then you cannot retract your offer, the only time your offer becomes invalid is when your opponent makes their next move, or declines your offer.

There are plenty of times when you can or cannot offer a draw, some of these are not official rules but frowned upon when playing in competition chess:

  • You should not offer a draw at any time to put off your opponent (rule).
  • You should not offer a draw if you have already offered one and it has been declined, if this is the case then you should wait for your opponent to offer a draw (unwritten rule), unless you keep doing so until it become a 'tactic' (rule).
  • You should not offer a draw when you have minimal chance of winning (unwritten rule).

Stalemate: This is a rule that has only been in play since the 19th century. Before this rule was introduced the 'attacking' team would be awarded a win or half a point. Currently, if you or your opponent are not in check but cannot make a legal move then the game is declared a stalemate.

Threefold Repetition: This rule states that the game is drawn when somebody makes a correct claim that the positions of the pieces are repeated three times. This is the case because repeating the positions three times symbolises that minimal to no progression is being made. This rule does not automatically apply; you need to make sure you tell the other player or the official, you will then decide if this is the case, and if it is call a draw.

Fifty Move Rule: This rule states that either play can claim a draw if no pawn has been moved or no capture has been made for 50 moves (50 moves by each side.) The reason why this rule was introduced was to stop player fatigue, and to also stop other players playing 'pointless' moves to draw the other player into fatigue and eventually a mistake. Once again, if you do not want to suggest this to the other player or official then you do not have to and the game will continue, however, once the other player takes one of your pieces, moves a pawn or mentions the rule themselves you will have to concede that the game is a draw.

The only other way to draw the game is due to an inability to cause a checkmate based on the pieces remaining, for example, if the last four remaining pieces are one pawn and one king per player then the game will naturally be called a draw because causing a checkmate is impossible.

Playing Time

Apart from casual games that are played without a clock, all other games are played with a time limit. A player will lose the game, if their clock runs out before the end of the game, therefore, this makes it important that a player pays attention to the clock and does not take too long to evaluate the board. 'Regular' games usually last between 30 minutes and an hour, but blitz/speed games only last from 3 to 15 minutes per player, therefore, you need to understand what game format is best for you as there are some players that find an hour game tedious and make mistakes because of it, while there are others that can make very good decisions in a small time.

Before sitting down to play your first game of chess, you should make sure you understand the basic rules of the game and this beginners guide. If you do not then you run a high risk of not understanding the different types of move available to you, however, after reading this guide, you will know all of the rules and information surrounding chess, now all that is left is to sit down and play and eventually start putting some strategies into play.

If you wish to develop your knowledge further in Chess we recommend you download Brain Games: Chess for Windows. It's the best downloadable chess game on the net and will coach you into becoming a more skillful chess player regardless of whether you are at a beginners level of much more advanced.

Download Brain Games: Chess for Windows